Outback FAQ’s

OUTBACK TRAVEL:

  • How can I get to Outback Queensland?

    Outback Queensland can be accessed by air, rail and road, Once you arrive, the well maintained highways and roads (mostly sealed) that connect the towns make travelling through the region easier than most would think. 

    See information about plane, train, bus and self-drives here.

  • Are the roads sealed throughout Outback Queensland?

    When travelling on the main routes, the majority of the roads are sealed and in good condition and can be travelled on by a regular vehicle. Even unsealed roads can generally be used by a regular vehicle.

    If you are concerned we suggest you call or visit one a local Visitor Information Centre.

  • Do I need a 4WD to travel in Outback Queensland?

    The majority of the roads in Outback Queensland, when travelling between towns, are sealed and in good condition. They can be easily travelled in a regular car without the need for a 4WD vehicle.

    If you are looking to go off the beaten track, into National Parks or across the Simpson Desert you may need a 4WD. Check with a local Visitor Information Centre for details.

  • Can you fly to Outback Queensland and hire a rental car?

    Yes, you certainly can.

    QANTAS operates direct flights into Queensland’s Outback from Brisbane and Townsville.

    Rex Airlines has flights into the region from Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, as well as flights within the region. Large towns generally have hire car options, but check with the town or company in question.

    QANTAS

    • Brisbane to: Barcaldine, Blackall, Charleville, Longreach, Mount Isa, Roma
    • Townsville to: Cloncurry, Mount Isa

    REX AIRLINES

    Towns include:
    Bedourie, Boulia, Birdsville, Cunnamulla, Charleville, Mount Isa, Quilpie, Windorah, Thargomindah, Hughenden, Julia Creek, Longreach, Richmond and Winton.

  • How far apart are towns in Outback Queensland?

    On the main routes, it is rare to drive more than 2-3 hours without passing through a town.

    The services available vary in each town so it is important to check before you begin a drive to ensure you have everything you need and find out where the next petrol station or general store will be.

    You can also see the distance between towns on our Travel Distances page.

  • What kind of animals can I encounter while driving in Outback Queensland?

    It is important that you remain alert at all times when driving through the outback. Along with kangaroos, you may encounter emus, echidnas, lizards, wedge-tailed eagles and other birdlife.

  • Can I drive at night driving in Outback Queensland?

    Night driving is possible, but not recommended for travellers who are new to the region.

    Road hazards are more difficult to see and kangaroos are more active at dawn, dusk, and throughout the night.

    Driving at night increases the risk of fatigue, not to mention you’ll miss the beautiful countryside going by! If you must drive at night ensure your headlights are working properly.

     If your vehicle does not have a bull-bar, drive behind someone who does, like a mate or a road train, so any surprise damage from kangaroos is minimised.

  • What supplies do I need to carry in my vehicle while in Outback Queensland?

    Always take snacks and extra water for the journey, as well as a spare tyre and map.

    Good to have (but not necessary):

    • A satellite-phone or Telstra mobile
    • Jerry can of spare fuel
  • Do I need to bring my own water when travelling in Outback Queensland?

    While Outback Queensland is experiencing drought, there is plenty of water to cater for the needs of visitors, so nobody will be short of a drink or shower.

    Many towns are located on the Great Artesian Basin, which provides water for the day-to-day needs of residents and visitors.

  • Is roadside assistance available in Outback Queensland?

    RACQ services Outback Queensland and can be contacted on 13 19 05.

  • What is the mobile/internet coverage like in Outback Queensland?

    You’ll find mobile coverage in most towns with the Telstra network. Other networks have limited coverage. Coverage is limited but improving on roads between towns, so you may wish to use a satellite phone.

    There is limited mobile phone coverage in the far South West corner of the region, west of Quilpie to Bedourie.

    Public phones are available in all towns, and satellite phones are recommended for extended travel in this area.

    Read more on our Outback Communication page

  • Are there maps and touring routes of Outback Queensland available online?

    Check out our itineraries section for road trip and holiday ideas.

  • Can I drive into Outback Queensland National Parks?

    Yes, though most require a 4WD and a permit. 

    For facilities and activities permitted in each park, visit the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing website.

OUTBACK WEATHER:

  • When is the ideal time to travel to Outback Queensland

    Outback Queensland's most popular time to travel is between March and October due to the cooler temperatures. 

  • How hot does it get in Outback Queensland?

    Summer temperatures in Outback Queensland are usually 35-40°C, however some towns can experience temperatures higher than this in Summer.

    Find out more on our  Travellers Tips page.

    You should also check the current Queensland Weather via the Bureau of Meteorology.

  • When is the wet season in Outback Queensland?

    December to February is the general time frame for the wet season in Outback Queensland. 

HOLIDAYS & ACCOMMODATION:

  • How long do I need to explore Outback Queensland?

    A week is a good amount of time to explore the North-, Central- or South-West regions, though you are very welcome to linger as long as little as you like.

    Whether you’re driving yourself, catching a bus, train or plane or travelling on a tour, in a week you can cover one region but it can take a couple to cover the whole Queensland Outback. 

    Find out more on our itineraries page

  • What types of accommodation are available in Outback Queensland?

    Outback Queensland offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from free camping, powered camping grounds with amenities, cabins, backpacker accommodation and quality bed and breakfasts and motels.


    Farm stays are also available to get an authentic outback cattle station experience.

    Find out more on our accommodation page

  • Do we need to pre-book accommodation in Outback Queensland?

    As accommodation options can be limited in some towns, it is always advisable to pre-book accommodation at least one week prior to arrival to ensure availability.

    During major events or festivals, accommodation can book out months in advance.

    Find out more on our accommodation page

  • Do all Outback Queensland towns have caravan parks and powered sites?

    Majority of towns in Outback Queensland have caravan parks with powered sites.
    Double-check with a local Visitor Information Centre if you’re in doubt.

  • Where can I experience a station or farm stay in Outback Queensland?

    There are a selection of station stays and station and farm experiences across the region.

    See our tours or check the farm stays section under our accommodation listings  if you are looking for an overnight stay.

     

     

  • Can I do short breaks in Outback Queensland?

    Yes, and it’s easier than you might think.
    If you’re driving yourself it generally adds extra travel time, but the flexibility of your own vehicle is generally a bonus.

    Weekend trips into Outback  Queensland are easiest driving from Brisbane, Rockhampton or Townsville.

    Flying and hiring a vehicle is popular for those who like the flexibility of a vehicle but want to cut out the extra travel time.

    You can also see the region by tours to reduce the potential stress of driving. Tours are available from the coast or once you arrive in-region.

  • Where can I find out about events in Outback Queensland?

    You can find out about upcoming and annual events in Outback Queensland here.

    After more info?
    Contact the local Visitor Information Centre to see what’s happening in town during your stay.

OTHER FREQUENT QUESTIONS:

  • Can I have a camp fire in Outback Queensland?

    If camping outside a town, be aware that most roads run through private property. Open fires should not be lit on private property or in National Parks.

    Use only designated fireplaces at campgrounds.

  • Can I travel through Outback Queensland with pets?

    Yes, Outback Queensland is pet-friendly. 
    It is recommended to call ahead at accommodation and camping ground to check their pet policy, or to request a pet-friendly room.

    Keep in mind that pets are not allowed in National Parks. 

  • What kind of medical facilities are there in Outback Queensland?

    Almost all towns have a health centre, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service takes emergency patients from remote locations to necessary hospitals – either in region or to larger facilities on the coast.


    Businesses and locals generally have comprehensive First Aid Kits, but it is recommended to carry a small one your vehicle. 

    Locate hospitals and health centres by region here.

  • Is there work available for backpackers in Outback Queensland?

    Most backpackers can find work at pubs in town, as station hands or au pairs on properties.